You might have heard the words trigger point therapy thrown around in conversation after a 5K marathon run or cross-fit session, but what is it…
Here’s what you need to know about it and if it can help you.
What Is Trigger Point Therapy?
A trigger point resides within muscle fibers and is named as such because it can trigger pain in other areas; that is, effects can be felt far from the source. For example, a trigger point (or knot) in your neck can cause forehead pain, or pain in your neck could actually be caused by a muscle in your shoulder having problems. Dr. Janet Travell developed trigger point therapy. Dr. Travell’s research showed that trigger points in muscles have specific pain referral and localization patterns. She was the personal physician for President John F. Kennedy when he struggled with back pain. Trigger point therapy is a bodywork technique that involves the use of pressure to palpate painful muscle tissue to relieve pain and dysfunction in other parts of the body. Patients describe where the pain is emanating from and then the therapist works backward toward the muscle where the issue is happening. A trigger point is the result of a contraction mechanism in the muscle which causes muscle fibers to become locked into a shortened position; the treatment involves unlocking the contraction (sarcomere). By applying specific pressure patterns to the trigger point in the muscle, the source of the pain is relieved because the trigger point is “deactivated.”
DIY Trigger Point Therapy
Trigger point therapy is not difficult and you can do-it-yourself (DIY) weekly or daily as part of your self-care routine. One way is to alternate DIY home sessions with your therapist’s sessions. You can save time and money by learning how to deal with your own trigger points and alleviate problems before they become bigger issues. In our blog we have suggested methods and videos to help you deactivate your own trigger points that are causing pain in areas like your shoulder or neck with a self-massage tool like the TP BuddieRx and even your own hands. A self-massage tool like the TP BuddieRx acts as an extension of your own hands to reduce strain on your fingers and other delicate joints while providing targeted release.
What Causes Trigger Points?
Muscles need healthy nutrients to recover and a good dose of solid sleep at night for optimal performance. Sleep is the reset button to healthy muscles. Good sleep helps you get your muscles back to a healthy state. Especially after a trigger point therapy session; getting proper sleep makes the treatment more amplified than without it.
Benefits Of Trigger Point Therapy For You